The Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park, where over 3,300 dinosaur tracks mark the site of the only known dinosaur stampede on the planet. In a remarkable piece of scientific detective work, scientists from the Queensland Museum have pieced together a dramatic tale of hunter and hunted from the footprints left behind.
About 95 million years ago a herd of over 300 dinosaurs, some as small as chickens (called Coelursaurs) and some about the size of an emus (called Ornithopods) were drinking on the muddy shore of a lake. The herd panicked and started a mad dash to escape when a large meat-eating dinosaur appeared close by.
The stampede was recorded in the mud, preserved by the natural environment, and immortalised in stone. Preserved inside a modern building, this amazing Dinosaur Stampede is accessible to everyone at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. The starkly beautiful red earth and spinifex-studded landscape is a dramatic contrast to the moist green world that existed at the time of the dinosaurs.
First Aid Equipment
Children are well catered for. A free children's Activity Book is available on site and children enjoy the dinosaur displays. An animatronic dinosaur is also in the entry foyer.
There is access for guests with a disability.
Self drive for a on-site guided tour at 10.00am, 12noon and 2.00pm. Tours are available from Winton on a regular basis during April through to September. Carisbrooke Tours run full day tours three days per week and Matilda Country Tours run half day tours. Tours in other months are run on a request basis and based on minimum group numbers.
This is a cash only facility. There is no canteen available on site, but there are toilets, limited water and picnic facilities. This is the Outback, so please take food, water, hats and sunscreen with you.
Wet weather access is difficult. Lark Quarry Conservation Park is totally protected. Please note that all plants, animals and features of the landscape must remain undisturbed. Do not walk on the dinosaur trackway surface as it is extremely fragile and easily damaged. Remove your rubbish when you leave. Camping is not permitted in the park and no animal should be brought to the park.
Lark Quarry Conservation Park was established to protect this unusual element of natural history and its wonderful setting of red earth, majestic gullies, flat topped mesas and spinifex. A sheltered roof was then erected to protect the Stampede but it was still insufficient to protect the deterioration caused by temperature and humidity fluctuations, water run-off, dust, wildlife and people. Regarded as an important and irreplaceable part of our cultural heritage, an award winning ecologically sustainable designed building was erected in 2002 to protect the Stampede for future generations.
The Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park is one of the first three places to be listed on Australia's National Heritage List in July 2004 and is referred to as the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument on their website.
The three main dinosaur tracks present belong to small tracks from the carnivorous Coelurosaurs, which were about 13 to 22 centimetres at the hip or the size of chickens; medium sized groups of tracks from the herbivorous Ornithopods, which were between 12 to 70 centimetres at the hip or the size of emus; and the large track of one flesh eating Carnosaur, each footprint nearly 60 centimetres long. It would have been 2.6 metres at the hip, a very large dinosaur indeed!
The Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways are set in the most awe inspiring landscape - amid the red earth, spinifex and jump up country. A walk, 'the Spinifex Circuit' is recommended to do after the tour of the Trackways to appreciate the present day flora and maybe some wildlife can be seen along the way.
How To Get There:
Lark Quarry is located 110 kilometres south west of Winton, Outback Queensland. Approximately 40 kilometres are sealed and the remainder is on a well maintained all weather road, which is suitable for normal conventional vehicles. Please check road conditions before setting out. Allow around one and a half hours travel time. For self-drive guests, depart Winton and travel on the Winton-Jundah Road following all marked road signs. A drive map is available through the Winton Visitor Information Centre.
Tickets can be purchased at Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways or at the Winton Visitor Information Centre (Waltzing Matilda Centre). An Attraction Pass, called a Gold Shinplaster, is also available for Single or Family which entitles the holder entry into the Dinosaur Trackways, the Waltzing Matilda Centre, the Dinosaur Display in Corfield and Fitzmaurice building, the Opal Walk and Open Air Theatre Museum.
Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways is part of the new and exciting Australia's Dinosaur Trail which incorporates Kronosaurus Korner, Richmond and Flinders Discovery Centre, Hughenden. A discounted Dinopass is available, which entitles the holder entry into the Dinosaur Trackways, Kronosaurus Korner and Flinders Discovery Centre. The Dinopass can only be purchased at the three attractions.